My daughter’s enthusiasm for Valentine’s Day has me thinking about love and love stories, so for the next couple weeks I’ll be reflecting on love and reading.
In my teens and early 20s I read and reread Judith McNaught’s historical romances. My favorites were Almost Heaven and Something Wonderful. These stories had a “happily ever after” quality to them, so maybe they were my YA version of fairy tales. I loved the descriptions of sensational gowns and glittering ballrooms. I could hear the rustle of satin as the heroine descended the staircase, and smell the cigars and brandy in the drawing room. The heroines were all in their late teens, in need of a husband, and making their debuts in London. Their lives, so far removed from mine, were compelling and fantastic. For a long time, there was always a McNaught novel on my nightstand—my go-to bedtime read.
But now I’ve outgrown them. In fact I relegated my battered copies to the hidden row on my overcrowded paperback shelf. I can’t bring myself to get rid of them but neither can I bring myself to read them. Once a favorite escape, the stories now seem silly to me. I am certainly at a different place in my life than when I was ten years ago. Maybe I need something different from pleasure reading.
I’d enjoy a good love story though, so I’d be happy to look into your recommendations. I’ll be back soon with more Valentine-themed thoughts.